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TaylorMade ushers in Carbonwood era of driver technology with Stealth Plus, Stealth and Stealth HD
Over the last 20 years, Titanium has been widely regarded as the pinnacle of driver face materials as the strongest and lightest material available to withstand the impact forces of a golf ball. Until now.
According to TaylorMade, carbon fibre is THE key of the future in driver performance … and they have gone all in with the introduction of the Stealth, Stealth Plus and Stealth HD Drivers, ushering in what they term as the Carboonwood era of driver technology.
What TaylorMade have done with their new drivers is to replace the Titanium face with a 60X Carbon Twist Face, comprised of 60 layers of carbon sheets specifically arranged to optimize energy transfer.
“In the mid-2000's, our research team developed an understanding that the weight of the face can affect impact efficiency, more specifically, the lighter the face, the more efficient the impact and the better the ball speed. We realized Titanium faces could only take us so far and carbon would be the face material of the future. This breakthrough design of a lightweight carbon face in Stealth, has created a whole new starting line, a new era of drivers, a new threshold of performance and a new platform for more innovation,” said Brian Bazzel, Vice President Product Creation for TaylorMade
Through TaylorMade’s R&D, they managed to deliver more precise face geometry and more importantly, more speed through their new red carbon face … and, yes, it’s red!
TaylorMade engineers took advantage of the lightweight carbon material by creating a face which is 40 percent lighter than a titanium face of equivalent size. As a result of the weight savings, the face size of Stealth is 11 percent larger than SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers and nearly 20 percent larger than the 2020 SIM driver.
According to TaylorMade, the weight savings and larger face size delivered a significant ball speed increase during player testing when comparing Stealth Plus and Stealth to the 2021 SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers at higher swing speeds, this unlocking a whole new level of driver performance.
TaylorMade’s journey to change the face of golf was made entirely possible by an innovative nanotexture cover that sits on top of the 60 layers of carbon.
The nanotexture cover is made from a thin polyurethane layer that creates a strong and flexible striking surface, which serves to optimise distance based on improving launch conditions in both dry and wet conditions.
This revolutionary technology creates the face texture needed to produce the ideal amount of friction between the face and the ball at impact to reduce spin at impact in dry conditions. Meanwhile, full-face scorelines provide improved spin performance in wet conditions.
“The technological innovation of our nanotexture technology brings the entire face together and was a key to making this driver a reality. Without this revolutionary cover design, we could not have achieved the launch and spin performance required to extract the optimal performance in dry as well as wet conditions. Once we added the nanotexture technology to the grooves, we were able to unlock the full performance of a carbon face.” said Tomo Bystedt, Senior Director Product Creation, Carbonwood Drivers, TaylorMade.
The combination of the nanotexture cover, Twist Face and ultra-flexible ThruSlot Speed Pocket was optimised to produce forgiveness on strikes across the face.
How does it sound?
Probably the main concern and question many have raised when the rumours of TaylorMade coming up with a carbon face driver is about the impact sound.
Based on experience with older carbon headed clubs in the marketplace, one would expect the Stealth family of drivers to suffer from a muted and low-energy sound profile.
However, according to TaylorMade, their engineers have been able to create a bright and powerful sound and feel profile through fine-tuned acoustic precision.
TaylorMade’s 20 year journey to the Carbonwood
In 2000, TaylorMade began exploring the use of carbon faces and came up with their first prototype in 2003. In 2012, they released their first driver featuring a carbon face with the limited edition, Japan only, Gloire Reserve driver.
TaylorMade started work on these new Stealth drivers in 2018 after new manufacturing techniques became available and the idea of a carbon face became more feasible.
A state-of-the-art plant was commissioned and completed in 2021 for high-volume production of composite parts while additional facilities were constructed to bond fully finished faces into castings.
20 years later
“The 20-year journey to today is a reflection of the engineering and R&D teams at TaylorMade that never gave up on the idea of a carbon face driver. The technical challenges in creating a driver face with a new material are vast. How do we take a “space age” material known for its high strength & lightweight properties, but not inherently designed for impact applications, and make it into a driver face that delivers revolutionary ball speed? Through two decades of work our team was able to solve various hurdles and create numerous technological innovations in order to bring today’s most advanced and precise driver to market,” said Todd Beach, Senior Vice President R&D and Engineering, TaylorMade.
Asymmetric Inertia Generator shaped for speed
As seen in TaylorMade’s previous two generation drivers, their asymmetric Inertia Generator makes a return in the Stealth. The Inertia Generator creates advanced aerodynamics from the downswing to the moment right before impact.
This design optimises clubhead speed, while also allowing additional weight to be placed at the rear of the club to encourage higher MOI, high launch and improved forgiveness
Stealth Plus is designed to be the lowest spinning driver in the family. TaylorMade’s engineers were able to incorporate a 10g sliding weight track designed to control shot shape by shifting mass on the sole as a result of the weight savings from the carbon face.
The Stealth driver benefits from the weight savings of the carbon face by moving the weight low and deep in the head. This adds 15% more MOI and is designed to provide 200-300rpm more spin when compared to Stealth Plus.
By utilizing the weight savings from the carbon face and shifting the Inertia Generator closer to the heel, TaylorMade were able to maintain draw-bias while creating the highest MOI in the Stealth family of drivers. While providing additional draw-bias, the Stealth HD driver will have similar back-spin performance to Stealth.
The Stealth Women’s driver combines the technology of Stealth HD in a slightly lighter head weight and with a unique colourway and aesthetic. It maintains the high MOI head design for easy, high launches with a touch of draw.
Availability and pricing
TaylorMade’s Stealth Plus, Stealth and Stealth HD drivers will be available at retail on January 26, 2022.
Stealth Plus has an MSRP of RM3,690 and will be offered in 8°, 9° and 10.5° lofts. Stock shaft offerings include Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Red 60, Mitsubishi’s Kai’li White 60 and Mitsubishi Tensei Silver TM50.
Stealth and Stealth HD drivers have an MSRP of RM3,550 and will be offered in 9°, 10.5° and 12° lofts. Shafts offered for the Stealth include Fujikura Ventus Red 5, Aldila Ascent Red 60 and Mitsubishi Tensei Red TM50. The Stealth HD comes stock with the Fujikura Air Speeder 45 & Mitsubishi Tensei Red TM50, shafts.
The Stealth Women’s driver has an MSRP of RM3,550 and comes stock with the Mitsubishi Tensei Red Ladies shaft.
With an elevated focus on customization and club fitting, golfers can find and be custom fitted for a full array of components, shafts, grips and more through authorised TaylorMade dealers.